Essay Blindness

Essay Blindness-45
Not only were the prisoners subjected to horrifying punishments such as being forced to lie under the African sun, the ocean water flowed into the chambers everyday, washing up both garbage and human waste (Frier).The mental asylum, though not against an ocean, also filled with human excrement because the internees had given up locating the restrooms after a few days, resorting to defecating on the floor or on their beds. ) One could be sent to these prisons, the most notorious being Tarrafal on the Cape Verde Islands, for being a dissident and for criticizing the Portuguese government, often without physical evidence.Saramago was highly distrusting of the Salazar regime and government, so he joined the Portuguese Communist Party in 1969. Within the last few years of Salazar’s rule, Saramago worked for two Lisbon newspapers, Diário de Lisboa and, later, Diário de Nóticias.

Not only were the prisoners subjected to horrifying punishments such as being forced to lie under the African sun, the ocean water flowed into the chambers everyday, washing up both garbage and human waste (Frier).The mental asylum, though not against an ocean, also filled with human excrement because the internees had given up locating the restrooms after a few days, resorting to defecating on the floor or on their beds. ) One could be sent to these prisons, the most notorious being Tarrafal on the Cape Verde Islands, for being a dissident and for criticizing the Portuguese government, often without physical evidence.Saramago was highly distrusting of the Salazar regime and government, so he joined the Portuguese Communist Party in 1969. Within the last few years of Salazar’s rule, Saramago worked for two Lisbon newspapers, Diário de Lisboa and, later, Diário de Nóticias.

Before marrying his first wife Ilda Reis in 1944, he began working as an administrative civil servant for the Social Welfare Service.

Three years later he published his first book, The Land of Sin, though his initial literary endeavors were not very successful.

Although these prisoners try to approach their providers without provoking attack, their blindness prevents them from knowing whether they will be shot for making a wrong move.

Acquiring the daily rations most often ends in violence or verbal abuse from the military.

Salazar drew inspiration for his own dictatorial rule from Hitler and Mussolini, just as Saramago modeled his mental asylum in Blindness after Salazar’s appalling and inhumane prisons that simulated Nazi concentration camps as well as the Japanese internment camps in the United States following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

In an interview for a Portuguese newspaper, Saramago calls his mental asylum the “final solution,” a resemblance of Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews (quoted in Frier).

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An easier way to establish context for Blindness would be to analyze Saramago’s life as well as the historical events surrounding it.

On November 16, 1992, José Saramago was born in Azinhaga, Portugal in the Ribatejo province to a poor farming family.

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